BioCryst Wins Flu Drug Contract, Stock Jumps More Than 10%

The Department of Health and Human Services said it has awarded a $102.6 million, four-year contract to BioCryst Pharmaceuticals for advanced development of its influenza antiviral drug, peramivir. BioCryst shares soared on the news, trading as high as $12.50 -- a 12% gain over yesterday's closing price.

In laboratory studies to date, peramivir has shown effectiveness against a number of influenza strains, the department said in a statement.

HHS added that funding provided under the new contract will support further studies to determine if peramivir can be an effective treatment for seasonal and life-threatening influenza.